Rocket Internet to integrate French site into CampsyNews / DistributionBy Martin Cowen | June 2, 2017Share This article was originally published on Campsy, the Rocket Internet-backed campsites booking portal, has bought French competitor Camping and Co for an undisclosed sum.In a statement, CEO Dr. Philipp Hillenbrand, said “The merger is a next logical step in our buy-and-build strategy towards a global camping travel group."Fabian Gartman, director of product for Campsy, told Tnooz that Camping and Co will be integrated into Campsy, "The ultimate aim is to have everything on the one platform and URL within eighteen months or so."The business is also working with campsite in a B2B context to help them get their existing systems compatible with the Campsy platform, specifically in terms of availability and booking. "Helping to get the campsites online is a huge part of what we do," he said.Campsy was formed in 2016 by the merger of Rocket's German business CampDay with CampingDay from the Netherlands, set up by Werner Huijboom who spent ten years from 2003 at booking.com.Meanwhile, Camping and Co was backed by two VCs based in France - Otium and Newfund - which invested €1.5 million in the business in 2012. The pair now have stakes in Campsy.Otium was the majority owner of La Fourchette, the B2C/B2B restaurant tech brand bought by TripAdvisor in 2009. Newfund invested €1.3 million in vacation rental tech specialist Xotelia in 2015.Campsy now has access to 2,000 campsites in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, all of which can be booked online. Camping and Co founder Guillaume Patrizi will become COO of the merged business and will aim to bring more campsites onto the platform."The merger of Camping and Co with Campsy will combine our long-standing experience in how to partner with the campsites with Campsy’s outstanding technological skills and digital marketing expertise," he said.Gartmann noted that "the digital capabilities of campsites varies between countries. Germany and the Netherlands are only at the very early stages."With the acquisition, Campsy is on track to handle 100,000 customers this year and expects a booking value of around €20 million. It aims to be in the black by the end of 2018.Camping is described by Hillenbrand as one of "the last digital white spots...dominated by offline players." He claims camping in Europe acounts for the equivalent of 350 million room nights and a booking value of more than €9 billion a year, "a similar size as rental cars or cruise vacations.”Gartmann added that the potential offline to online shift for campsite bookings in Europe was compelling. "Customers want to book their campsites online in the same way as they book hotels, so the demand is there. The challenge is getting the supply."